The Google Panda got website owners scrambling to produce high-quality content for their websites and purge their pages of badly-written, spam-infested and practically useless articles. Companies providing expert SEO services immediately adjusted their strategies to accommodate this change. Now that the Penguin update has been released, everyone is getting busy screening their backlinks and removing those that come from sites that are deemed lower-quality by Google.

A collective groan can now be heard around the globe as webmasters begin the long and grueling process of scanning hundreds of their backlinks and filtering out the bad ones that can potentially (if they haven’t already) bring down the quality of their own sites based on the new standards set by Google. The link quality review is what makes the process long, while contacting and convincing other webmasters to take down those links is what makes the entire matter grueling (not to mention a complete turnaround from the usual goals of SEO services).

Webmasters need to go through long lists of backlinks acquired through the years.

So it begins…

Sorting through long lists of backlinks is already quite tiring, but that’s actually the easiest part of the process. There are many online tools that can be used to determine the quality of backlinks that are for free. Of course, if you want a more streamlined analysis of your backlinks you might want to think about buying software created especially for that.

Backlinks screening can be finished quickly if you know what makes a backlink a bad link. Tools like the SEOMoz Open Site Explorer and Majestic Explorer can help you determine a site’s PR value, Page Authority and Domain Authority ratings, among others. They can also show what are the anchor link texts used for your backlinks, which you can use for a separate study regarding over-optimization and excessive use of exact match anchor texts. The last can also be a ground for penalties from Google Penguin.

Here’s a brief review on how to determine bad links:

  • The PR is N/A or way lower than your own.
  • The site is completely different and irrelevant from yours.
  • “Bad neighborhood” sites.
  • The site is a directory or a link farm.
  • The site is obviously not properly indexed.
  • The site loads too slowly.
  • The content is very poor.
  • The anchor link is already overused.
  • The site blatantly offers to sell links.
  • The Site belongs to blog networks.

Prepare a Spreadsheet

The two backlink tools mentioned above (SEOMoz’s Open Site Explorer and Majestic Explorer) can provide you with lists of websites that link back to your own. You can also explore other similar online tools and use them as well. Don’t just rely on one because it’s possible that one online tool will miss backlinks that another will find.

List down all the backlinks gathered by the tools you’ve used. Also include the site details (PR, PA, PD) in separate columns. Assign a column where you can take note of the status of each link. This will come in handy when you submit a reconsideration report to Google if ever you get sent a warning for unnatural links.

After identifying the links that need to be removed, begin the process of contacting webmasters and sending out emails requesting the removal of those links.

 Find and Contact Webmasters

Once you have the list ready, go and contact the webmaster. That’s easier said than done, because some of the website will not have contact details or contact us forms. Just do your bests, skip the ones you can’t find details easily and, eventual come back to them later in the process.

Any thoughts?

This is a guest post and the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this site. The author, Brian Nixon, is a professional search engine optimizer who writes for Pitstop Media Inc, one of Canada’s best SEO company that provides top rated SEO services to businesses across North America. For more information please visit

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